Robin Baird, a renowned research biologist, says an “abusive work environment” has forced him to quit his position on a committee that advises the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council on protected species.

In a letter to Wespac Executive Director Kitty Simonds, Baird says fellow committee member Milani Chaloupka‘s behavior was “unprofessional and highly inappropriate.”

“In normal work environments it is clear to me that his tone and adversarial questioning would be abusive behavior and would not be tolerated, and I am certainly not willing to tolerate it,” Baird said. “Despite my interest and willingness to participate in the Council’s activities and to provide information and my expertise from working with false killer whales and other odontocetes in Hawaiian waters for the last 14 years, I am unwilling to do so in that type of work environment.”

Environmental groups have been fighting to protect false killer whales — a type of dolphin that looks like an orca — from the hooks of longline fishermen going for ahi. The feds have tightened restrictions after multiple lawsuits.

— Nathan Eagle

Loading Scientist Resigns Over ‘Abusive Work Environment’ with Federal Fishery Council

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